Lunar New Year is coming to the Disneyland Resort between January 17 and February 9. What makes this year extra special is that it is the year of the mouse! Mickey and Minnie will be celebrating in style! If you are heading down to Disneyland during this time, all of the celebrations will be included in the price of your ticket. The majority of the events will take place inside of California Adventure Theme Park.
Activities and Entertainment
One of my favorite parts of Lunar New Year is the special guests and cultural partners that the Disneyland Resort typically brings in from all different Asian cultures. In the past, they have had Chinese calligraphy artists, lantern making and other arts and crafts booths. This makes for a memorable way for you to participate in the festivities and it’s completely free! All these activities change year to year, but are typically located in the back of the Paradise Gardens area by Goofy’s Sky School.
If you are looking for characters, Mulan, Mushu and a specially dressed Minnie and Mickey can be found in the back of the Paradise gardens area as well. Weather permitting, they should be available all day long, but always check with the nearest character host or hostess and your park entertainment schedule to be sure. In the past, Mulan has been with Mushu and Minnie has been separate from Mickey. If you wanted to get all the characters together, you will have to wait in line a few different times.
The best time of day to find the characters is in the morning or before the host or hostess cuts the line off. There is typically a photopass photographer on hand and all four of these characters typically sign autographs if you are looking to add these signatures to your collection.
Weather permitting, Mulan will have a special mini parade with her friends throughout the day. The times haven’t been announced as of yet, but the march performance was about 20 minutes long two years ago. There isn’t really a bad place to stand, but I have found that if you are across from the Paradise Grill area just past the Jumping Jellyfish, it isn’t normally too crowded.
There will be two main areas you can find Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese dining. One area, similar to the Food and Wine festival, is near the Paradise Gardens Park area, you can find about 4 to 5 booths or kiosk carts that will have a tasting size list of items on a menu for you to select. The Bao buns, mango-pineapple pastry, mochi doughnut, and short ribs were some of my favorites in the past to try. It appears they are bringing back many of the options again this year. You can find the entire list here. These items can be pricey at $5 or more so pick each dish wisely.
If you want to try everything, Disney is offering the Sip and Savory pass for $42. You will have the option to choose 6 items for a food or beverage. The beverage cannot be an alcoholic one; additionally if you are an annual pass holder there is a discount! The pass can be purchased in California Adventure at one of the food carts, Kingswell Camera, Seaside Souvenirs or the Elias and Co. I would pick the most expensive items on the list to get your moneys worth.
The second option will be to order from the Quick Service restaurants behind the Paradise Garden Grill or the Lucky Fortune cookery in the Pacific Wharf area. This is a good option is you are looking for a full meal and a better value for money. The tapioca pearls in the milk tea are especially good.
If you are looking for special merchandise, you can find Lunar New Year items at many of the shops in California Adventure. The best selection of merchandise will be near the festivities behind the Ariel’s Undersea Adventure area. The merchandise will include items from DIsneyland as well as Disneyland Hong Kong and Shanghai. The red envelopes and ears typically sell the fastest. You may be able to find select items on the Shop Disney website.
I hope this short guide assists you somewhat in what is coming up for the Year of the Mouse. I do want to mention that if you are going for 3 days or more, Disney is running a promotion where kids ages 3-9 can buy a discounted 3 day ticket. Check out the Disneyland website for more information. Unless you book a all inclusive package, this is the only place to buy the discounted ticket. Until next time, happy travels!